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05-09-2012, 07:04 PM   #1
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Cheap superwide option

Any cheap superwide, non fisheye, options out there in the 12 to 15mm range? 3rd party or film era OK.

I got a couple of 15mm Ltds and some Sigma superwide zooms. But I need some cheap beach superwides for kicking around.

05-09-2012, 07:14 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by slackercruster Quote
Any cheap superwide, non fisheye, options out there in the 12 to 15mm range?
Short answer: No.

Longer answer: Depends on how you define 'cheap' and 'non-fisheye'. Cheapest widest decent lens is the Zenitar 16/2.8, slightly fishy on APS-C, usually sells in the US$150-200 range. A 0.5x strap-on adapter can be cheap, suitable for the DA18-55, but will have lousy optics -- fine if you don't require images to be actually photographic. But the terms "cheap decent ultrawide" are mutually exclusive. Reality bites, eh?
05-09-2012, 07:24 PM   #3
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Not sure what you consider cheap but you can get a Samyang 14mm (one of the variants) for $350 brand new - sharp as a razor and a highly regarded lens...
05-09-2012, 07:38 PM   #4
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Hi, Slacker,
For kick-around use, wide dof etc you could consider a smaller sensor format. Body and lens might be less cost than a PK mount lens, superseded ones especially
After all, all brands of camera jpgs are compatible

05-09-2012, 07:49 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
For kick-around use, wide dof etc you could consider a smaller sensor format. Body and lens might be less cost than a PK mount lens, superseded ones especially
One option there might be a NEX with a cheap wide fast C-mount lens. But a NEX ain't cheap nor sand+water-proof. Small-sensor cameras need REAL short lenses for ultrawide coverage. I'm not sure about other waterproof P&S's but my Olympus 770-SW (my beach kick-around cam) has optics only AOV-equivalent to 38mm FF / 25mm APS, not exactly ultrawide. Maybe a disposable beach film camera would do the trick?
05-09-2012, 08:34 PM   #6
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What if you put a filter you don't care about on the lens to protect the elements and use what you have?
05-09-2012, 11:01 PM   #7
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I think that you can categorize your question in to film (older) and digital (newer) era lenses.

For the film - i.e., older lenses, with the 135mm format, remember that 28 and 24mm was considered wide. 18 mm was really wide. These lenses are available today at a wide variety of prices. 28, 24 and 20mm lenses are able to be found from a wide assortment of makes, and can go for a relative song. Vivitar, Tokina, and Sears all have lenses out there in the K mount. Wider lenses become more of a problem. For example take Contax - the 28 mm and to some extent the 25mm are fairly reasonable in price (C/Y mount), but you get in to the 21 and 18 mm focal length and the prices skyrocket for a number of reasons. The optical designs were great, and they were originally priced higher due to the design, materials and construction. There are really few 16 and 15mm lenses available since they were just not really made.

The digital or the newer lenses, tend to be wider and more available, however to some extent they are focused on the cropped sensors (hence the need for the wider focal lengths). Sigma has their 8-16mm, I think that its full frame, but it is not what you would call inexpensive. The wider the lens the more complex and exotic the design and thus the implementation is also more expensive (better glass, etc.) resulting in the higher prices. The kit lens goes down to 18mm, and the 16-45 is pretty reasonable in the $200 range. After that you have the 15 Ltd and 14, however they again are not inexpensive nor something that you would consider sacrificing at the beach. Tokina has their 11-16 but its not available in the K mount, nor is it again inexpensive.

So, we're right back to where we started - have you though about stitching? Probably the absolutely most available and cheapest is the kit lens. You can find the various versions around in the $40 range.

05-10-2012, 05:57 AM   #8
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OK, thanks for the rundown!

05-10-2012, 05:59 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Short answer: No.

Longer answer: Depends on how you define 'cheap' and 'non-fisheye'. Cheapest widest decent lens is the Zenitar 16/2.8, slightly fishy on APS-C, usually sells in the US$150-200 range. A 0.5x strap-on adapter can be cheap, suitable for the DA18-55, but will have lousy optics -- fine if you don't require images to be actually photographic. But the terms "cheap decent ultrawide" are mutually exclusive. Reality bites, eh?
I'm surprised the Zenitar is fishy. Don't know anyhting about it, but figured a 16 would not be fishy.
05-10-2012, 06:01 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
What if you put a filter you don't care about on the lens to protect the elements and use what you have?
Not worried so much about the glass, it is the rest of the lens. I always have filters on, but don't want to leave a nice lens under a hat or blanket on the sand. I'd be using a cheap $130 *ist. Looks like I'm stuck with the kit lens.
05-10-2012, 06:03 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by slackercruster Quote
I'm surprised the Zenitar is fishy. Don't know anyhting about it, but figured a 16 would not be fishy.
zenitar was designed as a fish eye lens, a little fishy on apsc, really fishy on 35mm
05-10-2012, 06:13 AM   #12
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i have gone through this several times looking for inexpensive lenses below 20mm for my manual focus K and M42 kits. sadly as others have noted, 20mm on film (hence old and perceived cheap) are rare, and actually quite expensive. I have what I would consider the three cheapest wide angle options available brand new, that offer decent quality.

samyang 8mm fisheye and 14mm F2.8 wide angle (although some considerable barrel distortion) and zenitar MC 16mmF2.8 fisheye. The zenitar is about $175 brand new in M42 and slightly over $200 in K mount (I took M42 to fill the bottom of my range)

all of these are very good lenses for the price, and have good coatings, are quire flare resistant, and for fisheye's this is no small feat as the sun is generally somewhere in the 180 degree FOV.

if you want to go cheap, the add on ~.5x front end adapters are workable, but note, they suffer from not only barrel distortion, but mustache distortion at the edges, and a really healthy amount of lateral CA. you would need to build a specific lens profile for Adobe or PT lens to correct this, and achieve relative sharpness, and image quality, but it is possible,.

this gets you down to perhaps 75-125 for a new UWA adaptor, but why spend that much when you can get the zenitar 16 for 175 and have a quality lens with no PP necessary?
05-10-2012, 10:51 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by slackercruster Quote
I got a couple of 15mm Ltds and some Sigma superwide zooms. But I need some cheap beach superwides for kicking around.
You've got *a couple* of DA15's? Stick a UV filter on one and call it your beach lens.
05-10-2012, 02:03 PM   #14
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I got 2 15's because they are so good I wanted a BU. But would not use it as a kick around lens on the beach unless I hit the lotto.
05-10-2012, 02:24 PM   #15
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OK, I could try these: Tokina-made 21/3.8 or Cosina-made Vivitar Series 1 19-35/3.5-4.5 on my ZX-M with a filter on the lens and a plastic bag around the camera+lens. Sure, film gets burnt, but those are AOV-equivalent to 14-12mm on APS-C. And the lenses cost me about US$35 each.
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